Excel Academy is proving that the opportunity gap can be closed. Our educational and cultural program provides new options for students and families. We present our students with educational experiences that allow them to grow and discover their best selves. And we support our students to become self-advocates so that when they leave our halls, they can navigate all of the post-secondary options available to them. In short, Excel Academy provides the avenues through which our students can change themselves and pave a path to success that is meaningful to them. The opportunity gap is persistent but we are showing that it is possible to close the gap.

Consistent Success on Middle School State Assessments

Excel Academy’s students have achieved unprecedented success at the middle school level. Since 2008, our students have achieved at the highest levels among public middle school students in Massachusetts, including when compared to students from wealthier communities.

Excel students have been ranked #1 in the state in the following years, based on the percentage of our students who scored Advanced or Proficient on the MCAS exams:

  • 2008: 7th Grade ELA (100 percent Advanced and Proficient)
  • 2009: 5th Grade Hispanic/Latino performance in Science and Math; 6th Grade Low-Income performance in English and Math; 7th Grade Hispanic/Latino performance in Math; 8th Grade English (100 percent Advanced and Proficient); 8th Grade Math
  • 2010: 5th Grade Hispanic/Latino performance in Science; 6th Grade Low Income performance in English and Math; 7th Grade Math (100 percent Advanced and Proficient); 8th Grade Low income English (100 percent Advanced and Proficient)
  • 2011: 7th Grade Math; 8th Grade English
  • 2012: 7th Grade Math; 7th Grade English (100 percent Advanced and Proficient); 8th Grade English
  • 2013: 7th Grade Hispanic/Latino performance in Math (highest percentage scoring Advanced in the state); 8th Grade English (100 percent Advanced and Proficient); 8th Grade Math
  • 2014: 8th Grade English (100 percent Advanced and Proficient)


Excel’s middle school students took the Common Core-aligned PARCC assessments in Spring 2015 for the first time. 


  • Our 8th grade classes continue to perform well: the performance of students at Excel Academy East Boston and Excel Academy Chelsea places these two schools among the top 15 public schools across the Commonwealth.
  • Across the network, our 8th grade Student Growth Percentage percentages were high: our SGP rank is number 6 across the state.
  • Among our Special Education students, 37 percent of SPED students at Excel Academy achieved Proficient/Advanced (Levels 4 + 5) — double the state average. 
  • Overall SPED SGP was 65, putting Excel among the top schools in the state on SPED SGP.
  • The SGP for students at Excel Academy Chelsea was the highest in the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • On average, 31 percent of our ELL students achieved Proficient/Advanced, compared to a statewide average of 20 percent.
  • Average SGP growth for our ELL students was over 60. Our ELL students ranked within the top 15 of all schools in the state for SGP growth.

Impressive Comparative Gains

In 2013 and 2015, the Stanford Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) conducted groundbreaking independent studies to learn more about charter school performance across the country. While the studies showed mixed results for charter schools when compared to district schools in other states, the data coming out of Massachusetts’ charter schools told a much different story. Even more specifically, Boston’s charter schools were found to be the highest performers in the country, when compared to local district public schools. Based on CREDO’s findings, Excel’s middle school students:

  • Receive an additional 273 days of learning per year in Math.
  • Receive an additional 301 days of learning per year in English.

To put this into perspective, by Thanksgiving of each year, Excel’s students have learned as much material in the first two months of the academic year as their district public school counterparts will learn throughout the entire year. 

Results Beyond Middle School

Excel Academy supports an unparalleled post-middle school support program through our Graduate Services Department. Since our first students graduated from 8th grade, we have provided robust support and counseling services to our alumni to ensure they succeeded in high school and college. Today, five full-time staff members work with our students in middle school, high school, and beyond high school. Even without a high school of our own, until this year, Excel’s graduates are achieving at high levels, especially compared to similar demographics nationally.

  • 94 percent of students from our first six middle school graduating classes have graduated from high school or earned their equivalency certificate (GED or HiSET)
  • 76 percent of the high school class of 2015 (Excel Academy Class of 2011) matriculated into a 2- or 4-year college/university.
  • 65 percent of the alumni from our first six classes have graduated from or are currently enrolled (persisting) at a 2- or 4-year year college/university. 
    • The 6-year college completion rate for Latino males from the Boston Public Schools Class of 2005 was 26.5 percent.
    • Nationally, fewer than 10 percent of students from low-income families graduate with a bachelor’s degree within six years.

Recent Awards and Recognition

  • 2015 Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice: Zeke Phillips, founding 5th grade English teacher at Excel Academy Chelsea and founding 9th grade English teacher at Excel Academy Charter High School, is one of four awardees of the Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice from TNTP.
  • 2015 Pozen Prize for Charter Schools: Excel Academy East Boston was named runner-up for the Pozen Prize for Charter Schools in 2015.
  • 2016 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Runner-Up: Brett Pangburn, 6th Grade English teacher at Excel Academy East Boston, is runner-up for the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Award. Brett was a finalist for TNTP’s Fishman Prize in 2014.